Share this article

print logo


Laughter on the bench

Austere and staid, the nation's highest court is noted more for its wisdom than its wit. But one justice seemed eager for a few guffaws during Wednesday's argument over abortion protest limits in Buffalo.

One of the key issues in the case is whether abortion protesters can be heard from 15 feet away -- the distance that Judge Richard Arcara posted to separate protesters and clinic visitors.

The laughs started when anti-abortion lawyer Jay Alan Sekulow began his presentation in a loud, booming voice. Sitting just 15 feet away, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said:

"Mr. Sekulow, I can hear just fine if you would lower your voice."

Check out that Man They boast of being the friendly market but last Friday's appearance at the Tops supermarket in the Village of Hamburg may prove their point.

More than a few heads turned when shoppers spotted a man wandering the aisles wearing a shirt, jacket, cap, shoes . . . and no pants.

The man toured the store for about 5 minutes before a woman finally reported him to the desk.

Without missing a beat, the clerk asked:

"What does the man look like?"

Telecommunications Trees Always looking for a way to ease opposition to their huge telecommunications towers, Sprint Spectrum has come up with a unique approach.

Make them look like trees.

In Orchard Park, the company wants permission to install a 110-foot tower on Armor-Duells Road. In return, the company promises to locate the tower in a stand of mature, 60-foot evergreens and disguise it with vinyl bark and PVC limbs so it looks like a towering pine.

"This has been used at Disney World," said David Olek, a consulting engineer.

Olek said it would cost $50,000 to build the tower and another $50,000 to disguise it as a tree.

A $10 Million ticket Mayor Masiello had just finished asking for $10 million in new aid from Erie County when County Executive Gorski left the meeting at City Hall and discovered his car had been ticketed for parking in a "no-standing" zone.

Apparently, Gorski's license plate, "ECE," carried little weight with the city's parking enforcement officers. The county may have the last word.

"Their request just got dropped to $9,999,980," said Scott Brown, a Gorski spokesman.

He Had them roaring To train for the role, Police Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske rented a copy of "The Wizard of Oz." He was appearing on "Wake Up!," the early morning news show on Channel 4.

Now, Kerlikowske is no stranger to TV but, this time, he appeared out of uniform. In fact, he came in costume -- dressed as the Cowardly Lion. The commissioner was promoting a charity costume party for the Arts In Education Institute.

"Put 'em up, put 'em up," he told hostess Sue Serio in his best Bert Lahr imitation. "I can take you with one paw tied behind my back."

Fish 'n quarterbacks The call came early Saturday night from a desk clerk at the Buffalo Hilton. Miami Dolphin Dan Marino would like to eat at your restaurant.

Not daring to say no -- even though the place was packed -- Orazio Ippolito found room for Marino at his North Buffalo restaurant.

Marino's entourage arrived at Orazio's and proceeded to order a boatload of appetizers. They dined on clams casino, shrimp provencale, mussels Augustina and shrimp cocktail.

As a main course, Marino had grilled swordfish with a tomato-caper-olive relish. The five men also shared a platter of seafood Fra Diavlo -- a dish filled with shrimp, scallops, clams and calamari.

After awhile, it became obvious that everything Marino ordered contained -- fish.

At one point, he popped his head into the kitchen to say hello to the help.

"Squish the fish," someone yelled.

"Remember, guys," cautioned Marino, "I'm not the enemy tonight, so treat me well."

Off Main Street is written by Phil Fairbanks with contributions by Dennis Enser and Mike Levy.